DTS-ES/THX-EX Speaker Positioning

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will Ernst, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Will Ernst

    Will Ernst Agent

    Mar 12, 2001
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    Well I'm finally moving into a place where I'll have more room for my home theater. I'm going to be upgrading to a 6.1 capable setup and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to do sound now. The search engine is offline currently so I can't look for older posts. I'm trying to find out what the ideal speaker positioning is for the new sound formats. Is it basically the same as the 5.1 ideal just with the rear channel behind? Also, I'm planning on upgrading my mains, and using my current bookshelf/stand mains my side surrounds. Is the height of the floorstanding speaker something I should be worried about? I currently have full-range speakers on the wall about 3' over seated position for my rear channels.
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Will. I'll take a stab at these questions:
    IMHO: an ideal system would have the tweeters on all the speakers at the same height (sides and rear). And if you have the ability, this height should be about your ear level when seated.
    This flies in the face of recomendations of sites like Dolby. But they are still pushing the same old speaker placement they had in the ProLogic days, and this was when they recommended all movies only put ambient/non-locatable sounds to the rear speakers and that you use special speakers that bounced sounds along walls to help "hide" the location of the speakers.
    With DD and Dolby Ex, movies have the ability to send specific sounds to just 1 speaker, and have them swirl around the room. Putting the speakers 3 feet above your head just does not make sense anymore. Nor does trying to hide the speaker locations with dipole/indirect speakers.
    Now to get a little "real world": Moving the rear speakers so they have the same height as the fronts is a "third-order" adjustment. (Meaning not very important compared to many other adjustments you can make).
    If you are going to add a rear-center, the obvious thing to do is put this speaker at the same height as your existing rears.
    But if you are moving your fronts to the rear, try placing them at ear-height. And then test with a good modern movie.
    Hope this helps.

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